Creating disciples

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Creating disciples

Postby Rhen on Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:02 pm

So on an advertisement for a seminar in my area, a Tai Chi teacher is bringing his disciples. There is no evidence this teacher has ever done Bai shi with a Master. it only says he has had a few teachers. i asked the teacher who he did Bai shi with and he didnt reply. yes he replies to questions, just not that one. Other advertising is that they are the 'authentic' tai chi and 'Yang family'.Many folks are proud to answer this question, except the shady ones. this is a moral question l and truth in advertising.

So is it proper to create 'disciples' if you never Bai shi to a master?
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Re: Creating disciples

Postby Trick on Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:26 pm

How does one know when a teacher/master has done Bai shi. Do they get an certificate or something or one just have to take the teachers word for it?
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Re: Creating disciples

Postby nicklinjm on Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:18 pm

Think you know the answer to the question you're asking. In the traditional TCMA framework, if you have never bai shi'ed to a teacher, then no, you are not allowed to accept your own disciples.

I have known of examples where good practitioners learn from a teacher for years without going through bai shi, doesn't stop them from getting to a good level. However, when it comes to the point where they are taking on their own students then they often do a 'retroactive' baishi.
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Re: Creating disciples

Postby edededed on Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:42 pm

Baishi is interesting - I guess that some people want to adopt it to feel more authentic, etc.

Having others baishi to you in a specific school (say, bagua) despite your not having done so would be strange.
But in the past, sometimes it was done despite the master already having passed away, etc. (sort of via consensus of other living disciples).
In other strange baishi adventures, other times, A learns from B - but baishis to C (since C is cooler). What does it mean in this case?

But I guess that if you make your own style of whateverquan, etc. - why not?
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Re: Creating disciples

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:26 am

I have seen a lot of ba Shi disciples taken as a teacher gets near the end of his life
It helps his family out
On the other hand just because I haven't taken Ba Shi does not mean I don't have the right to take disciples
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Re: Creating disciples

Postby HotSoup on Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:33 am

There are a few cases when a master can somehow not do baishi, and it would be fine. One example would be family ties with one's teacher. For instance, sons of the master obviously do not need to go through doing baishi. Another example would be founding a new style mentioned before.

That said, what @Rhen is describing hardly falls under either case :)
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Re: Creating disciples

Postby Trick on Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:07 am

There are numerous legit teachers in China many unheard of outside their own cities martial art’s community, then how would anyone in for example Europa or US know about any Ba Shi one has done with such a teacher ?
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Re: Creating disciples

Postby GrahamB on Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:04 am

Image
"People in this country have had enough of experts" - Michael Gove, 2016
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Re: Creating disciples

Postby Bao on Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:59 am

Rhen wrote:... is it proper to create 'disciples' if you never Bai shi to a master?


If it’s not, then it’s not proper for anyone to create disciples.

Someone must have been the first to start. Who gave him/her permission?

Who tf can decide who can call himself a “master” anyway? Sure, sometimes people labeling themselves this or that becomes ridiculous. Skill talks for itself. No label is necessary for understanding skill and no label is necessary for transmitting skill.
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Re: Creating disciples

Postby Appledog on Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:04 am

Rhen wrote:So on an advertisement for a seminar in my area, a Tai Chi teacher is bringing his disciples. There is no evidence this teacher has ever done Bai shi with a Master. it only says he has had a few teachers. i asked the teacher who he did Bai shi with and he didnt reply. yes he replies to questions, just not that one. Other advertising is that they are the 'authentic' tai chi and 'Yang family'.Many folks are proud to answer this question, except the shady ones. this is a moral question l and truth in advertising.

So is it proper to create 'disciples' if you never Bai shi to a master?


It's fine if you can demonstrate your skill.

Keep in mind that 'bai shi' in a certain sense can be more trouble than it is worth, and actually is not the only way to do things traditionally.

If you are not born into a martial arts family and you bai shi before reaching a certain level of skill you are making a huge mistake and you will regret it later. JMO!

I think that it is better to get some skill first, know what you love to do, be into it, and be ready to accept the responsibility. The more social it is, the more it is done out of love for your teacher and desire to support him or her, the better and more worthwhile it is. if you are baishi to get secret teachings maybe that is fine maybe that is just how things work in your school. I just am a romanticist I guess.
Last edited by Appledog on Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Creating disciples

Postby Steve James on Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:23 am

Ime, a baishi was a public commitment made by a student to the teacher. It was like becoming a son, and with it came the duties of being a son. I.e., you are responsible for maintaining your master as well as his martial tradition.

Someone can learn from several teachers, decide to teach his own version, and quite legitimately --imo-- take disciples. The question is whether it means anything. Dan Inosanto is a disciple of Bruce Lee, but probably never baishied. Is Inosanto qualified to teach?

However, the issue of money affects the whole idea of discipleship in the west. If you have the money to go to a master, it's possible to pay enough to get baishied, especially if you're going to leave. This has nothing to do with the acquisition of skill or sincerity. But, ime, the truest teaching is given, and can't be bought.

Any given master might have a son who wants nothing to do with martial arts. Then there's a guy who knocks on the door every day begging to be taught, but hasn't got a cent. Otoh, there's a guy who calls and says that he's willing to pay a large sum for lessons. I think there'll be differences in the teaching and the learning that have nothing to do with payment.
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Re: Creating disciples

Postby charles on Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:11 am

In our current time, being a disciple can mean a lot, a little or nothing, depending upon the teacher and disciple. Being a disciple does not necessarily mean that one "has the goods" or has a high level of skill or received some "secret" or "special" training. In short it is meaningless except when it isn't. Figuring out when it is meaningless and when it isn't can be difficult.

In our current time, if someone wants to take disciples, and someone wants to be a disciple, that's up to them. It might, or might not, mean anything tangible outside of the personal relationship between that disciple and his or her teacher.

As someone else said, skill is skill whether one is a disciple or not. If one is looking for something other than skill - such as name, status, validation ... - that's a different issue. The unsubstantiated assumption that many have is that disciple=skill. That often isn't true.
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Re: Creating disciples

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:11 am

Here is a visual display of the ceremony I came across online
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2382081 ... 518326684/
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Re: Creating disciples

Postby yeniseri on Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:18 pm

I am familiar with the ceremony but I would think that the greatest tribute a student can pay a teacher/master is to be as proficient in his art and be as committed in exemplifying the traditon, strength an dthe all round humanness of said master. It seems that alot of people baishi is to be around a club of so named disciples just to say "teacher X was my master.".. wassup dog...just saying' .

Nothing wrong with that but a tradition flourishes when the disciples can do and show that art. ???

Baishi is still a good source for those who want to go hollywood....
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